Wednesday 30 November 2022

Pharmacy cartel

BusinessDesk reports:

A group of independent pharmacies have gone to court claiming health authorities got the law wrong in letting Countdown run pharmacies and dispense prescriptions. 

New Zealand Independent Community Pharmacy Group (ICPG) is seeking a review in the high court at Wellington of decisions granting pharmacy licences to Countdown in Gisborne and Wainuiomata in Hutt City. 

The group argued that the Countdown pharmacies are not under the full control of its pharmacists as required by law and that the company was running a loss-leading strategy to drum up business.  

The ICPG said the decision-making processes were flawed because they were made with insufficient evidence, and there was no rational connection between the evidence that was available and the decisions made.

Difficult not to laugh on reading this assertion:

Lawyer Robert Kirkness said the two former DHBs made a number of errors in law when deciding to grant contracts to Countdown pharmacies.  

Kirkness said while pharmacies might have commercial interests, that was not the primary role of pharmacists in NZ, nor the driving force in the ICPG seeking the review.  

"It is not an attempt to protect commercial interests but to protect the quality of care to the New Zealand public," he said. 

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